This is the original copy and transcript of an interview with the now obscure inner-city band Sydney Popular Mechanics, who had a brief moment of underground fame in the late 1970s early 1980s. Some pages of the transcript missing.
Even OZ Rock writers like Clinton Walker and Ian Mcfarlane seemed to of been content to leave people in the dark on this outfit in they’re written works, not to mention them being absent from Phil Turnbulls excellent Sydney post-punk site No-Night Sweats – although none of them regarded Popular Mechanics too highly compared to other talent on the scene at the time so maybe that’s why.. maybe someday the story will be fully revealed if Roger G. ever gets a Doublethink Singles collection out!! Until then this is the random amount of info I can share…
‘New Wave’ pop band from Sydney (Darlinghurst to be more specific I believe) active from 79-82 at least.. Good friends with and supported to some degree by the Thought Criminals. The lineup at the time of their first release was:
Mark Foster ~ Vocals
Russell Handley ~ Farfisa/Vocals
Gary Doyle ~ Guitars
Garry Manley ~ Bass
Beck ~ Drums
(additional songwriting credits for Richard Sheehan, Craig Youden and Dave Lemon)
The EP ‘From Here To Obscurity’ was recorded/mixed during Sept.-Nov. 1979 and released in December on the Thought Criminals Doublethink label (dtdt-4) and came in a 7”x7” foldover P/S which also included a nice 12”x12” insert.
I can offer some light on Popular Mechics story. Sadly, Gary Doyle and Russel Handley are no longer with us. They both died in the 80s, Gary maybe ’81, before Russell in mid-decade. I won’t say how they died as it may offend the families.
Beck left first and was replaced by Jim Heywood (drummer from the legendary Sydney rhythm n blues band The Layabouts) just after the ‘From Here to Obscurity’ ep.